I read with interest Thomas Elias’s “California Focus” in The Coast News Opinions & Editorials (“Despite whiners, top two performed as intended,” July 29) about the primary election, as I am rather curious about this new method of electing congressional representatives here in California.
I do not understand how the old system resulted in Elias’s claim of “extremism in both major parties, with extreme liberal Democrats and extreme conservative Republicans virtually guaranteed election…”. How did the “Top Two system” end this perceived phenomenon, I wonder. Republicans and Democrats continue voting their party (or not) in the primary, just as they did before, since you can only vote for one person. That didn’t change. What changed is now we vote in the fall for one of the top two vote getters from the primary, which will always be Democrats (“Democrats hold a voter registration edge of more than 17 percent,” Elias admits).
Mr. Elias also asserts that the majority party in a district is now, “forced to heed voters in the other party, for the first time in generations.” How did that not happen before? As a moderate Republican, I have always been wooed by both parties in all November elections, especially if the Republican candidates were “extreme conservative Republicans” which Elias claims were the only candidates running in the old system before the Top Ten system was instituted. I have always been wooed by both parties and am even inclined to cross parties in a November election since I lean more Independent.
Top Two eliminates my party choice.
He goes on to say a Republican candidate, “would have little chance in the fall of running against Harris, the leading Democratic vote-getter.” That may be so; however, isn’t there then more pressure on the Republican candidate to appeal across parties and become even more moderate in trying to win a two-party election?
The end result of the Top Two System is that I, a Republican, do not have a representative running for the U.S. Senate from California.
The Top Two System affirms that California is a one-party state, and socialist at that. California is not a democracy.
Top Two was designed to ensure that the U.S. Senate would not have a Republican represent California, and indeed, Top Two did, in the words of Thomas Elias, “perform this year exactly as intended.”
Madeleine Szabo is a Carlsbad resident